Fascination Burnout

Three Books in Their Own Words.

Night and Day, by Virginia Woolf, 1919.

The power of literature, which had temporarily deserted Mr Hilbery, now came back to him, pouring over the raw ugliness of human affairs its soothing balm, and providing a form into which such passions as he had felt so painfully the night before could be moulded so that they fell roundly from the tongue in shapely phrases, hurting nobody.

Anathem, by Neal Stephenson, 2008.

Arsibalt was horrified. “But how can you not be fascinated by —”

“I am fascinated,” I insisted. “That’s the problem. I am suffering from fascination burnout. Of all the things that are fascinating, I have to choose just one or two.”

Nocturnes, by Kazuo Ishiguro, 2009.

We were especially pleased when we found a recording . . . where the words themselves were happy, but the interpretation was pure heartbreak.